手をつなごう / 愛を歌おう

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絢香
[ayaka]
手をつなごう / 愛を歌おう
March 5, 2008
Oricon
Daily Singles Chart: #3
Weekly Singles Chart: #7
Billboard
Hot 100: #2
Hot 100 Airplay: #2
Hot Singles Sales: #8
First Week Sales: 18,432
Label: Warner Music Japan

~~~

手をつなごう
[Te wo Tsunagou]
[Holding Hands]
Lyrics: 絢香 [ayaka] / Music: 西尾芳彦 [Nishio Houhiko?]
4:50

A gently strumming guitar weaves lazily through the soft, unhurried rhythm as the song introduces itself. Some beautiful synth is used. It has an ethereal quality and hums delicately, detracting nothing from the ever-present guitar. As the chorus comes in a chime does also, adding some electric guitar to the mix of downy instruments. As the second verse continues, a pithily tapped guitar string adds drama and so does the newly added piano. A cymbal brings the second chorus in and the instrumentation picks up with more energy and urgency. The electric guitar eclipses the acoustic and a live drum set brings more vigor as the bridge comes nearer. Light background vocals enter for the first time and add a subtle harmony and definition to the astounding melody which ayaka has crafted around this crescendo-ing music. After the powerful last chorus, the music once again resumes its unhurried pace and slowly fades out with an a cappella ‘doo’. The melody showcases the amazing talent that is ayaka. Each note is beautifully crafted to have the perfect inflection and the high notes float breathily above the music.

愛を歌おう
[Ai wo Utaou]
[Let’s Sing Love]
Lyrics: 絢香 [ayaka] / Music: L. O. E.

If you are a fan of YUI, this song may sound vaguely familiar. It has many properties of her music. A couple of guitars, some light digital effects and a live drum set. Cymbals crash quietly in the background as harmonies effect the melody of the song. The pre-chorus gives us a tad more tempo before the chorus carries it away. Each instrument is played with more vigor and adds more theatrics. The bridge enters suddenly with a different melody and a completely different feel from the rest of the song. A minor transition sets the stage for the guitar solo which follows. A quiet pre-chorus then comes before a plunking piano leads us back into the high energy chorus. The song fades out with an unresolved feel. ayaka once again shows off her pipes, pulling off some great high notes. She seems to strain slightly on keeping the high notes in the chorus in her chest voice. She doesn’t let them float as she did on [手をつなごう]. More exciting than the first A-side, [愛を歌おう] delivers quite well.

~~~

Tokio Hot 100

[手をつなごう] debuted at #52, seven weeks before it’s physical release! Within the next two weeks, it broke the Top 20 at #13 before dropping to #38 in the same amount of time. Slowly it regained popularity and reached #17 the week before the single was released. On it’s release it charted at #6 and then this week it has reached the #2 spot.

~~~

This single was a fun treat. A beautiful ballad and a up-tempo pop number, paired very well indeed. Lovely as well where ayaka’s vocals, which never fail to impress.

A+
99%

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~ by vinyabarion on March 16, 2008.

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